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Questions for Chris Avellone radio interview - now updated with additional answers from MCA!

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by sstacks, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. throwaway Arbiter

    throwaway
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    :hmmm:
     
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  2. Lockkaliber Magister Patron

    Lockkaliber
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    Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire

    It's not unusual for MCA to refuse to answer questions regarding mysteries surrounding characters he's written. I think he's of the opinion that it kills part of the fun, especially if he's specifically written it that way. Remember his answer to the question if Kreia is really Arren Kae. Or maybe it was if Kreia is really the Handmaidens mother.


    Either that or there is more to that DGaider tweet about them doing a Star Wars game than we know...
     
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  3. Rean Codex Grammar Police Patron

    Rean
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    Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    More likely that he isn't allowed to disclose that stuff.
     
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  4. Lockkaliber Magister Patron

    Lockkaliber
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    Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Ten years though
     
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  5. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    Also all that stuff isn't even C-canon anymore. Disney wiped the slate clean. :)

    I still hold on to hope that the Bryan Brown question will be answered so that I may die happy.
     
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  6. Ninjerk Arcane

    Ninjerk
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    When he answered taht question he mentioned there was another fan question he said he would never answer.
     
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  7. Chris Avellone Arcane Developer

    Chris Avellone
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    Hey, all, as promised in the Shane Plays podcast, I didn't want to leave anyone's questions hanging (although there are some I can't answer).

    I already tackled the ones on Reddit, so if your answer is there, I may copy or link to it.

    Pardon the length, but here we go:

    (Crooked Bee) Obsidian: White March looks great (I wasn't involved with it or Armored Warfare, but I checked out narrative specs for both), the Devil of Caroc should be a great companion (I trust Carrie, especially after The Buried Life), and the environments I saw looked very Icewind Dale-y. Also, one of the dungeon designs in White March had a pretty cool premise. Should be a great expansion. Beyond that, no juicy details to relate. ;)

    The Future: There is much joy, but it is a joy that cannot be spoken of. Hopefully, I can speak of it soon. In terms of other project you're already aware of - I am working at inXile now for material you're likely already aware of - I'm helping out scripting quests in Sagus Cliffs, and finishing my companion and graphic novel work, among other tasks (playing and critiquing the Numenera Systems Alpha before it's released to the Backers). I did want to work on Bard's Tale, and I was excited about the lore I read from Nathan Long and George Ziets. I had about a page of level design notes about the "Cairn of Horrors" dungeon could work based on that but... alas. Also, I played and reviewed Siege of Dragonspear, but again, you're already aware of that.

    (t) Wolves: I hate them. They hold a light to my poor playing skills, so it's not their fault. But I hate them.

    (The Game Analists) Horror RPG: This I couldn't say, although I have never worked on a horror RPG pitch or spec that I can recall in which horror wasn't more of a "subset" of the pitch. Dead Money was the closest I've ever come, and that was a mixed bag, imo. I'd love to work on White Wolf properties, though, they have really strong stories and lore set-ups and great games have been based on them (Bloodlines).

    Settings I'd want to work with from your list: Warhammer 40K.

    As mentioned in the podcast, I've actually worked on a Star Trek game before, Starfleet Academy. (Duraframe300 is correct.)

    (Neaderthal) Annah's Heritage: Answered. Although now I have a doubt that I put a hint of something else in the text, so I could have forgotten it (it's been a reeeeeeeallly long time). I could see Ravel shagging up with the Lower Planes, probably as a potion-addled mistake or as an experiment.

    Beamdog and Torment possibility: I'd love to if the chance existed.

    Dead Money and other survival RPGs interest you?: I've always wanted to do a survival RPG, yes. I like horror and scavenging every resource in the environment to overcome what's hunting you (one of my favorite "game movies" - and graphic novels - is 30 Days of Night, which would make a great video game).

    (hivemind) Do another game in spirit of Alpha Protocol: I like the spy genre, I would revisit it, but I think the reactivity in that game was a series of choose your own adventure options, and if I wanted to do a reactive game, I'd want it based more on systems and not IF/THEN/ELSE <play cinematic>, if that makes sense.

    You are... poor... at playing games. Explain yourself: Unless they are a title I'm working on, it's true, I don't often have time to play a lot of games unless it's for research, and I'm hardly a game-playing expert. It's a curse, and it's something I need to work on.

    PST being a lauded signpost: I am proud of it, but I see its flaws. I am glad there was an opportunity to make it (twice now) and there was an audience who liked it, because it made Interplay verrrrrry uneasy.

    STATs and decision trees in games like the Speech skill: I don't like stat-win choices in dialogue systems, although I am happy if those skills give more information to allow you to strategically approach the conversation - for example, the "Empathy" perk in Fallout was a great example of what I mean. It didn't give you the "win," it just told you what the reaction was likely to be, and sometimes you'd WANT to piss off the person you were speaking to. Alpha Protocol was similar to that, yes, and we had another layer to the system in Fallout: Van Buren, where you could build your own "intel" files on people by studying their mannerisms with PE or Speech skills and build your own NPC dossier you could access as a pop-up in dialogue ("Goddard is more accepting of any request, even against his interests, as long as the speaker phrases the request as a question that reaffirms Goddard is in charge.") We played around with this in the pen-and-paper game, and it worked well.

    Would you consider a future as a Small Independent Designer: Yes, and there's teams I have worked with and would work with again (Subset Games).

    (Crazed Weevil) Answered. ;) But you know that.

    (Turisas) Wearing: Jeans and a T-shirt that needs to be washed. Badly.

    (Darkzone) Van Buren: Hopefully, the Nordic talk will be released, which will answer this. In short, it involved the Prisoner's Dilemma as a theme in the context of Fallout. I am working with Ziets now. Sci-Fi RPG: I wish. Other inXile answers above.

    (Matt7895) What game would you do a Director's Cut of: KOTOR2, but the fans already did a much better job: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/249536/The_modders_strike_back_How_fans_fleshed_out_KOTOR_II.php Also, the voice acting bills would be through the roof. I'd do Torment as well if only to double-check some of the scripting and include some of the missing quests (and I'd want Qwin's Unfinished Business mod involved, too).

    Project Lead: Sure, I would do that again under the right timing and resources. Torment was great, but KOTOR2 was not ideal, for a variety of reasons. Time, budget, and honestly, scoping issues are things that would have to be more carefully managed on my end.

    (Athelas)... is correct, I was an intermediate (?) area designer on Fallout 2 (but was lead on Torment at the same time).

    (Jimmious) Make Van Buren, even if another world? Answer: Would love to. The theme translates across genres, which makes it stronger, imo. I'm sometimes worried when a theme only works within a specific franchise and has no legs outside of it.

    (Sitra Achara) When will you get a real job? Answer: Never. I'm loving design too much. Who knew there was a profession for this?

    (Don Peste) Favorite D&D modules and Warhammer: We never played any of the Warhammer modules, I wrote my own (I did three "modules," one of which I still think was one of my best work - it was a treasure hunt of epic proportions). I did like the Warhammer modules I read, though, but I liked the campaign books more. As for D&D modules, I loved the Against the Giants series (up until Queen of the Demonweb Pits, which I thought sucked), Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure, Village of Hommlet (a classic), and Keep on the Borderlands. We played Cult of the Reptile God and Temple of Elemental Evil (the mega-module) quite a bit, although never finished Temple. I disliked Expedition to the Barrier Peaks and Tomb of Horrors - the latter because I couldn't imagine my own character surviving the experience.

    (Tigranes) Ask him about the recent experience of dipping toes in so many different projects, and what kind of role he is imagining for himself in the future, and any game ideas hes mulling over, and why he would or wouldnt just make his own KS or something. More interesting to learn about the future...

    ANSWER: Seeing how other pipelines, genres, information management, system specs, and designs work and scripting for those genres has been a great learning experience (example: FTL). My future role would involve keeping doing this, although I can't say specifically what yet.

    Other game ideas: I've spoken about some of them before, but there's a lot in the queue.

    KS: Can't speak to this, but I'd hope there would be enough interest.

    (Roguey) Do I ever get mistaken/told I look like Bryan Brown: I confess, I had to look up Bryan Brown. I have never had anyone tell me this (except you), they usually say I look like Robert Patrick, to which I respond with a head lean and say, "nice bike." I like Bryan Brown better. Also, he's Australian.

    (Shevek) What KS would it be? Can't say.

    A system not seen in an RPG that you would like to be a part of? I've seen this in other RPGs, but some exploration of dialogue combat (nods, tone, incline, facial features - I always thought it would be cool to play a blankslate doppleganger or Season 1 Dexter sociopath who is trying to learn how to communicate "normally" with people to blend in and achieve his objectives). I got this idea from Andrew Rowe's Forging Divinity, where the way people were described talking gave me the idea for this - every gesture, even the direction you're facing, eye contact, etc. can either do damage or help your cause. As for other RPG systems, I always wanted to do a SFX-based spell accumulation system where the more sounds you elicit from the environment (death of a wolf, waves against the shore), you could blend these into powers and spell effects, but the "gathering" would be systematic, not scripted.

    Joinable NPC qualities: I answered this on a blog, it still holds true: http://forums.obsidian.net/blog/1/entry-168-project-eternity-and-characterization/

    (Excidim II) My favorite color is blue.

    (Ludo Lense) Environmental story telling is more important, more effective, and can be more engaging for the player than dialogue and descriptions.

    What is, to your mind, the best way to develop a project in such a way as to avoid major divisions between a game's narrative and gameplay: ANSWER: Gameplay is established first in pre-production, and narrative understand that their job is to provide the "wrapper" for the systems and explain away discrepancies. They can inform each other, and narrative can influence systems, but systems should come first and narrative should work to support it.

    3D Tech and influence on RPGS: Well, it's already being felt in pen-and-paper sessions (Google Hangouts, Skype sessions, more internet programs to share mapping, all rulebooks carried and searchable on Kindles). VR is obviously going to help with the immersion factor - but until the Star Trek holodeck exists, these are only small steps. ;)

    Work of Literature: 30 Days of Night (graphic novel). I have a list of "game books" and "game movies" that would work well for this category, but 30 Days of Night, absolutely.

    What skills acquired from video game development do you think are generally transferable to other industries? ANSWER: Brevity and clarity in technical writing, interface development and design, tasking habits, working for a team, and initiative, being willing to take on tasks. There's others, but those are the big ones that jump to mind.

    (Perkel) Do I like wolves? NO. I hate them. They reflect poorly on me as a player.

    (Innsmouth) New game projects: Can't say - what I'm working on is listed above (Numenera, Dragonspear). And I haven't pre-ordered Fallout 4 (I don't usually pre-order games).

    (naossano) Answered in the podcast: F3, F4, Alan Wake, any other BG games, to name a few. Shadowrun as well.

    (Fairfax) Ask him if he's planning on being lead designer again in whatever he chooses to work on next: Answer: I would take on that role, but I'd rather be a Project Lead, since those seem to turn out better for me overall.

    (Rivmusique) Mira's Father: Will remain secret until I get the keys to KOTOR3. :)

    (Jedi Exile) Ask about Arcanum: It's in the queue. I often do core game content first (Tides of Numenera) since it's more time-sensitive, but it shall be done.

    (RK47) KFC: I like KFC, haven't eaten there in years because every meal is a salt-laced heart track, I like crispy but I have to peel off the skin (like I do with my victims), and I don't use KFC sauces, I prefer my own BBQ sauces and chili powder.

    (Rivumsique, again) There should be an IWD interview posted in a month or two that answers the Holy Avenger question. I loved designing that fight, and I wanted to make the lore items be key to beating the ghostly evil party.

    There you go, sorry if the formatting is problematic.
     
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  8. Ranselknulf Arcane Patron

    Ranselknulf
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    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    Impressive, he answered everybody's questions.
     
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  9. Crispy Thread Title Changer Undisputed Queen of Faggotry

    Crispy
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    You ever hear of the quote feature?
     
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  10. Rean Codex Grammar Police Patron

    Rean
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    Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    So, sometimes we get asked by newfags (and grumbling oldfags too) why we like MCA so much.

    That is why. That is why.
     
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  11. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    I didn't know that G Ziets was involved with Bard's Tale IV lore.
     
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  12. Sacred82 Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

    Sacred82
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    the fuck did someone ask what he's wearing
     
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  13. Darkzone Arcane

    Darkzone
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    Why not? He seems to be a regular employee of inXile, like Nathan Long. He has the right qualities and the team Monte, Ziets, McComb, Long and Avellone must be retained and elevated to new levels. Torment should be just a beginning, BTIV would consolidate it and Van Buren push it higher and then a Sci-Fi RPG like Eclipse Phase (there is even madness).
     
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  14. Rean Codex Grammar Police Patron

    Rean
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    Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    George Ziets can do good things with shitty settings (like he did with Dungeon Siege 3). Still, from all accounts Bard's Tale IV is going to be an all-out dungeon crawler. Anyway, off topic.
     
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  15. Ninjerk Arcane

    Ninjerk
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    Implying you don't want to know
    :shunthenonbeliever:
     
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  16. ROARRR Learned Possibly Retarded

    ROARRR
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  17. mindx2 Codex Roaming East Coast Reporter Patron

    mindx2
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    Codex 2012 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    Posting in a MCA thread... :love: but I didn't ask him a question... :(
     
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  18. Don Peste Arcane

    Don Peste
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    Does he know he could sell those for BIG MONEY (If unwashed)?
     
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  19. Lonely Vazdru Pimp my Title

    Lonely Vazdru
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    Reported MCA for blatant brofist harvesting.
     
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  20. vonAchdorf Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    vonAchdorf
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    Yes. That would be :incline:.
     
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  21. Lonely Vazdru Pimp my Title

    Lonely Vazdru
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    What can change the nature of an ultramarine ?
     
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  22. Duraframe300 Arcane

    Duraframe300
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    Thanks Chris.Hope your well!
     
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  23. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    At last I am at peace.

    :badnews:
     
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  24. Eirinjas Educated

    Eirinjas
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    Quote feature? Don't leave us hanging; where is it and how does it work?
     
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  25. DwarvenFood Arcane Patron

    DwarvenFood
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    Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Amazing.
     
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